Experience crucial for Cowplain outfit

Cowplain Cruisers. Picture: Sarah Standing (141215-4874)
Cowplain Cruisers. Picture: Sarah Standing (141215-4874)
Megan Wallace in action for Shooting Stars against Meon at Gosport Leisure Centre. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180016-1)

Stars shine in victory over Meon

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Cowplain Cruisers will need to call on all their experience if they are to escape the drop from Portsmouth League premier division two.

They have failed to record a win in five outings since their promotion last term.

But with the likes of Ange Taylor, Nicky Prosser and Annie Allan, who has been with the club since they formed 20 years ago, they have plenty of nous for the scrap ahead.

Prosser, who skippers the team, said: ‘I have to say we were extremely concerned about being promoted a couple of seasons ago but we surprised ourselves with some of our performances and to finish as winners was brilliant.

‘But the next division is definitely a much larger gap.

‘We have failed to win a game yet but have come close on occasions.

‘We do see ourselves as veterans but we consider ourselves to be a friendly team who are competitive but fair on the court.

‘We are always supporting our players and never getting on each other’s backs.

‘We all play for pleasure and have a great team spirit.’

By their own admission, Cowplain are no strangers to yo-yoing between divisions.

The team began in the original division five but, being a fair-weather side, only played in the summer.

They enjoyed promotion to division four in 2000 and then rose to the third division in 2002 before dropping back three years later.

The Cruisers jumped back and forth until finally rising to their highest-ever position – premier two – this winter.

Prosser said: ‘Our only umpire is Julie Braithwaite, who has worked her way up to prem two.

‘Elaine Firbank – one of the original team members – still acts as treasurer, even though she is no longer able to play.’

The Cruisers train at Cowplain School on Wednesdays (7pm to 8pm).